Tina Brandau

How To Become A Better Me This 2023 With Tina Brandau

The world has been drowned in uncertainty in the past few years due to a down economy and the devastating pandemic. Tina Brandau challenges herself to discover a “better me” in 2023 by doing massive shifts in her life, dispelling the dangerous traps of stagnation. In this conversation with Sam Reeve, Char Miller, Sumit Singla and the entire PSF community, she invites everyone to embark on this life-changing journey. Tina explains how to unlock your best version by not stressing yourself with things out of your control, take small but necessary pauses, and be proactive to build a resilience self. She also discusses how to become an effective executive and coach by working alongside other people in the most active way.

How To Become A Better Me This 2023 With Tina Brandau

I’m happy to welcome you here. We have a very exciting discussion. The topic is going to be Three Keys to a Better Me in ’23. Perfect timing. We’re still in January. We still have plenty of time to make big changes. Our speaker is Tina Brandau. I’ll introduce her in a moment. I will be here to help introduce everybody and give you a little bit of info about what the show is.

Our goal is to engage, energize, and elevate your company and your employees. We do that by bringing on a different guest speaker and also a panel of expert hosts who have talents and skills in so many things in the world of HR, compensation, people, strategy, you name it. There’s a lot of great valuable information each and every week completely for free. We do it live on Zoom. You can also read it in a blog form as well.

Let me introduce you to everybody else. We have Char who is coming to us from Mexico. She is a small business owner. She has worked in the world of human resources for many years. She’s been a career coach and consultant. We also have Wendy, who is part of the team at CompTeam. She’s been helping us with the show by bringing us all these wonderful speakers. She is also certified in TMA and has a lot of experience in talent management.

We also have Howard, who is a compensation advisor and expert. He’s worked with some huge companies over the years. He uses his talents in technology to boost the compensation departments of many organizations. He’s also part of the CompTeam. We have Sam as well, who is the Founder and CEO of CompTeam. He also created the People Strategy Forum, and he is an expert when it comes to talent initiatives and compensation as well. That is our panel of hosts.

That brings me to Tina Brandau. I did say she is our wonderful guest speaker. We’re excited to have her because she is the Founder of Success Coaching Solutions. She’s a success coach and number one bestselling author. She was telling us that her book, Standing Strong, outranked Think and Grow Rich. That’s a big deal. That’s wonderful. Congratulations on that. She’s also a motivational speaker. She’s spoken on over 500 different stages. Again, we are talking about Three Keys to a Better Me. Take notes, and welcome, Tina.

Thank you. I’m so glad to be here and hearing you talk about that, like, “Who is that person? Who did all that?” What we’re going to talk a lot about is how to become your best me. Sometimes we don’t take stock of everything that we have the ability of doing, and that’s what I love talking about most.

It’s such an honor to have you here, Tina. Before we get started, I’d love to hear a little bit about your background, how you got into this business, and what drove you to write the book. Can you give us a little detail?

Not unlike most of you that were introduced, I’m not going to let you do the math, but I spent a lot of years in human resources as an Executive and Officer C-Suite, all of that fun stuff, helping organizations truly reach their goals, create the wealth, create the organization, and create the effect that they’re looking for. I decided at some point in my career that I wanted to also help small businesses do the same thing. I decided to run multiple things because why not do more than one thing? I started a side business or a side hustle, as it was called at the time, helping entrepreneurs do the same thing.

Along this journey, I had a unique, unimaginable accident happen to me. While I’m helping corporations do all their things, I found myself being unable to help myself do anything. I had to retrain my brain, relearn, and redo everything in life all over again following my accident. I realized in that process that a lot of us do not live our potential. That is what drove me to write the book.

Now, the accident itself left me in a place where I was not functioning well. I function a lot better and well now comparatively, but the book itself is all about those lessons so that you can apply them in your life. Did I return to becoming an executive coach? Yes. Did I return to becoming a C-Suite? Yes. Did I do all those things? I did. How I did it is what’s inside that book, and that’s why I wrote it because I believe that we all have to face that challenge in life, which is to become all that’s possible.

It’s unfortunate for a lot of us that it takes a significant event for us to frame life like it should be framed. We go through our days, and sometimes, we’re a bit a little bit misguided, making the steps, not thinking about how important family is, our loved ones, and putting work in the right framework. Thank you so much for writing this book. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to read it yet, but I plan on getting this on my reading list here real soon.

The book itself is a mechanism to help you. It’s to help us, but as leaders, we have so much more that we need to do every single day. We were talking earlier a lot about the stresses that people have been under in the last few years. We’ve talked a lot about that. Those stresses are, frankly, parallel to the stresses that I went through. I’d love to dive deeper into how we can help people get through the stresses that we’re facing and become that best me in ’23.

I love the branding, by the way. Best me in ’23.

That came from me waking up one morning and going, “I’ve got some adjusting to do, and I need to become a better me. It’s ‘23. It rhymes. It works.”

A lot of us are going through that.

You’re right on it, Char. There’s a lot of uncertainty in what we’re facing this 2023. You’re hearing a lot of what was it now when Microsoft laid off another 10,000 people. The economy going forward is uncertain. With bringing uncertainty into this question, how do we prepare for that, Tina, for all this uncertainty and also make sure that we have a great year?

We need to take a little step back, Sam, and that is we’ve been living in uncertainty for quite a stretch here. Most of us deal with uncertainty in moments, but we now are in a marathon of uncertainty. We went from the pandemic to understanding how to get your business back online, get your business back functioning well, and then into now an economy. We haven’t had a chance to take a breath. We haven’t had a chance to recharge and refuel yet. When we’re talking about how you do that for 2023, we have to realize one simple truth, and that is you cannot control what is beyond your control.

You cannot control things that are beyond your control. Just focus on the things that you can. Share on X

We have to stop trying to. You can make plans. I do believe in having war rooms with massive plans that most organizations do, but what’s beyond our control, we cannot try to control. We’ve been trying to do that for a very long time now, and people are tired. You’re having a lot more people burned out. You’re having a lot more people leaving in the workforce. The impending layoffs and everything that we keep hearing about have got a lot of people on edge at this point.

I can’t recall where I heard this, but they were talking about stress and health. They find that the study was telling going down the path of when we have control of our stress, we voluntarily are entering into that and work life and so forth. It doesn’t have such a detrimental impact on our health. When stress is forced upon us on things that are not controllable, that is where the real damage happens. Do you find this true, Tina?

It absolutely is. When something is beyond your control, you have a physiological change and a neurological change. I know too much about the brain after my injury and accident. I’ve learned. You can see stress inside the brain on an fMRI light up your entire brain. It takes all of your energy. We’ve lived, frankly, in a state of constant stress for the last several years. That is why when you’re sitting at the moment and you’re wondering, “What can I do to fix this?” sometimes the answer is you can’t.

We have to be okay with, “You can’t,” but you have to have the second piece of that. “I can’t, but I can do X.” Let go of what you can’t. Most of us have people who we’re responsible and accountable. We don’t want to let go of the thought that we can’t, but the truth is, you can’t. We don’t control a virus. We don’t control the economy. What we can do is control our thoughts and actions that follow it.

You’re getting me thinking because my colleagues here know that this has been my life. I was a long-term corporate lady in the same positions that you did. When I left corporate years ago, I had to invent, create, and innovate businesses. What’s fascinating is, psychologically, I would testify to the fact that with the stress and the anxiety, you tend to lose your mojo because you’re so worried about the unknown and the ambiguous next outcomes. Who would ever imagine what we experienced over the last couple of years as a world? It is scary, even going into 2023

I am inventing new businesses. I am a former corporate person. I don’t feel like doing a traditional corporate job, but at times, I find myself stagnated in that fight or flight mentality where you’re stuck in the headlights, like, “Crap, we’re going into 2023. Am I that old right now? Am I able to do all of this and achieve all my goals in the next year?” Tina, what is your recommendation to break the cycle of stagnation or fear of the unknown? How do you break through that in the business setting and also empower others to break through some of that stagnation? What are your thoughts on that?

Most leaders have a drive to them. That’s how you got into the leadership role that you’re in. Unfortunately, when you can’t control something, what we often find is that we all end up doubling down, doing more, running faster, and putting more and more on our plate, trying to grasp anything we can control. What that does is send us into a spiral of burnout. The first thing we have to do is stop doing what’s our natural inclination of doing more.

PSF 57 | Better Me

Better Me: Leaders often end up doubling down when they cannot control something. This only sends them into a spiral of burnout.


I say all the time to my clients, “We are human doers. We are doers. That’s how we are wired, or we wouldn’t be in the roles that we’re in. We have to also remember, we’re human beings, and it’s okay to be and not just do.” That is shocking. The biggest piece of pushback I get is, “I can’t stop.” You can, but you’re not stopping to stop. You’re stopping to vision. You’re stopping to plan. You’re stopping to look at it differently.

When you’re in a state of running, you can’t plan effectively. We are in reactionary mode. You have to stop long enough to take a proactive step. You may guess what’s going to happen in the XYZ area, and you may not get it right, but you still have to take the time to be proactive instead of just running all the time.

What came up for me when you were saying that was two things. One, I love what you said stopping doesn’t mean you’re not doing anything. That’s huge. The second thing that comes to me is how we need that time to integrate. Where our awesome ideas come from is in the shower, on our run, at our workout, and on the walk. When we’ve stopped, put it aside, left it, gone somewhere else, then all of a sudden, that’s when everything comes in. That’s when the inspiration comes. I love that you said stopping to vision. That resonated.

Most of us in the last couple of years have run hard. We’ve worked in the moment, not on the moment. That’s working in your business versus on your business. I feel like we need to get back to a pattern of working on instead of in, and it’s not batting down whatever’s coming at us at the moment. Vision is huge. I want to throw another big chunk out to talk about if you guys are willing, and that’s work-life balance. I hate that term. I do not believe it exists.

I do not like that when I say that word, I personally feel tension over, “I have to do something different, and I have to do it right. I have to balance it.” I joke all the time that there are eight elements of life. If I give each element equal credence, I only get to sleep for 3 or 4 hours a night. That’s not going to work for me. Balance in and of itself brings stress that I don’t like. I love referring to life as harmony. It’s like an orchestra. Sometimes the harp is playing, and sometimes the drum takes the lead. Sometimes you have a pianist who’s going to be the loudest in the orchestra, but it all plays together perfectly. I want us to talk about work-life or some type of work-life harmony that we can create.

I often find that some of the things that we need to find in that harmony are to break the old mold. When we’re thinking about how business used to be run a few years ago before we had the remote work phase, we were in the office the entire time. We are so programmed to that mindset. Now, as people are working remote, a lot of people are feeling lonely and disconnected. A lot of that is because they haven’t adapted to their new environment.

Instead of going out to colleagues for lunch, they should be going out with their friends to lunch, and family members to bring some of that balance into play. As you said, I believe a lot of that inspiration happens in life, as you and Wendy were highlighting, happens when we’re not in that mode of going through the production in the office and going through the motions. It’s when we have that creative work. That’s super powerful.

Here’s another thing that happened during the last few years. Your readership or your audience is mostly leaders. We had to make a lot of decisions. You also have decision fatigue that has happened during this time. If you take your work-life harmony and your decision fatigue, and you look at those two things, sometimes it has to be to decide that you’re done making decisions for the day because your tank is empty. It’s okay to say that.

Some of the best executives that I know that I work with only make decisions during their time of genius during the day. They’ll only do it from 8:00 until 11:00 in the morning if that’s their zone. Some people say, “Don’t ask me to make a decision until 3:00 because that’s when I’m on fire.” It’s okay to do that because what we have to learn to do, Sam, to your point, is to live more effectively and efficiently. That includes leading, working on our projects, and everything that we’re doing. We have to learn to do it all in balance and harmony with each other.

PSF 57 | Better Me

Better Me: Learn how to live more effectively and efficiently by being in balance and harmony with each other.


I’ve found in terms of taking time out that it’s been easier because of COVID with more people working from home. People are around. I’ve been using that time and opportunity to get together with friends or people that, in the past, I would only speak to over the phone and grab a coffee, grab lunch, and exchange ideas. It’s been great and easier to schedule than when I was in a working environment going into an office, and they were going into offices.

Howard, that’s amazing that you’ve made the opportunity or taken the opportunity to do that and made that effort. A lot of people haven’t. The number one thing that I hear from my clients is how lonely they are. In fact, we got together for a large group meeting, and I cannot tell you how many people were like, “You have feet. I can see your feet.” It’s because they’ve been on Zoom for so long. They were elated to be back in person with people again.

You’re not in your yoga pants.

Not in your yoga pants or Bermuda shorts. We did have some of that. We have a world now of people who are stressed. We have a world of people who are living in uncertainty and loneliness, and leadership was lonely before. It’s worse now. That is an adjustment that we all need to make at this point.

I have to say this because, at our opening, we were talking about Michigan, the water, and the beaches. We were talking about the waves coming in, and sometimes they’re massive waves that are bombarding at times. What do you call it when the snow comes in and dumps?

The Lake Effect Snow.

This is a new analogy. I’m going to write an article on this and put it on LinkedIn or something because I have a white German shepherd and a red German shepherd. They’d go out in the waves and have to time those waves. The big waves start to come in with the tide. My dogs time the wave before they jump in and grab the ball before it hits. In business and as leaders, when you say stop and take a moment to breathe, oftentimes you’re having to brace yourself for those large bombarding waves that are going to crash you into the turf. If you don’t stop, take a breather, and wait for the big wave to come and crash through the shore, you’re going to get smashed. That’s my new analogy. I made that up. What do you think?

It fits perfectly. It doesn’t have to be big pauses that you do, either. Little pauses make a big impact. I’m going to give you one that I ask every single person that I work with to do. It is one that they panic about when I ask them to do it. I ask them to set their organization’s email to not deliver any email after 5:00 PM. None at all if there’s an emergency or an urgent situation. We do have to educate people on what an emergency is. If there is an emergency, they can call you, even as the CEO calls you. They don’t send emails. All emails go.

You don’t need big pauses to achieve great results. Sometimes, little pauses make the biggest impact. Share on X

We know from studies that if somebody is distracted, it takes them twenty minutes to go back to the task at hand. How many times are you pinged, dinged, contacted in some way, shape, or form, or asked a brief question? All day long it happens. If we want to store and save our energy, shut your email off at 5:00. What that does for you is nothing. You can keep working if that’s what you want to do for you.

What that does for your entire team and entire company is let them shut down. They’re not worried about, “Am I going to miss a message from my boss? Am I going to miss something?” Let’s face it. Most people are wired where we want affirmation, acceptance, and acknowledgment. Our brains are still wired where we do not. A lone wolf doesn’t survive. We are tribal by nature. We want to be acknowledged. We want to win. We want to be seen in a good light. What do we do? We answer those emails at 9:00 at night.

Also, Tina, wouldn’t you also say social media? Some of us have 6 or 7 different social media accounts, plus you got your boss, your colleagues, your assistant, your employees, and the dopamine rush. Back when I was doing corporate, I’d get 200 emails a day. You’re right. I’d get them all night, all weekend, and Sunday morning on an Easter Sunday when I was supposed to be enjoying making breakfast with my kids. I was getting bombarded with emails and calls. Talk about being unhealthy.

I can’t imagine with Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and every other thing, we’re getting constantly hit with all of those, “Bing,” plus having our work. Often we don’t know how to shut down. We don’t know how to push it away or put the phone in the kitchen away from the bedside. What you’re saying is that be a model to show your employees and your leaders, “This is what you should do,” as an executive.

Not only to be a model, but you need to execute the strategy. Model the behavior, but make sure it gets executed throughout your entire organization so that its unavoidable boundaries. Those boundaries are put in place. They’re safeguards for people to take care of themselves. I’m going to give you all another tip. This is something that I am a huge fan of. In social media, shut off your notifications. I run some Facebook groups. I cannot shut off my Facebook because I have groups that I do.

However, you can put on an app that is a Facebook feed eradicator, so you only see your groups. You don’t have to spend four hours watching dog videos because we know we do that. We know that when we go into that rabbit hole, we go way down it. You can do things that buy you back additional time. The most important is setting boundaries and helping other people do it. As leaders, we have to give them permission to do so. When you do, you change your workforce, change their lives, their families, and yours as well.

That brings us to an important point about how leaders should embrace all of this. We’re in a time where there’s an economic downturn. There are layoffs going on. There’s uncertainty and a lot of stress that our employees are dealing with. At the same time, a lot of larger companies are making the choice to force people to come back into the office. It seems like it’s a very dangerous time to be forcing that inflexibility on your people when they’re already dealing with a lot of stress. What are your thoughts there, Tina?

You have to know your organization and your team. If you are a healthcare entity, it makes sense that you have to have more people back. They have to be onsite to provide services. If you have the flexibility, make the flexibility. I will also tell you that the natural reaction for people when they start seeing layoffs happen around them is to do more to prove their worth to stay where they are. The reality is, if your organization is cutting a percentage of its people, you could work 24 hours a day, and it may not have a different impact.

What you need to do is work smarter, not harder. To do that is super simple. I’m going to ask you to simply think about what are the most important things that you need to get done and focus on them. Don’t focus on anything else. Focus on those few things. Focus is what drives momentum and helps you to be more efficient. We have gotten to a point where we’re not focused at all, or at least I know I have, and most of my clients have, and they’re running major organizations. Focus is a huge problem when you’re putting out fires constantly. When you say bring them back to the office, if they can effectively and efficiently do their work at home, let them have that flexibility.

The other thing is professionals out there and even some of the C-Suite might be feeling a little insecure about their future at a company with a lot of layoffs. It’s pretty important not just for leaders but for all professionals out there to be thinking about diversification, making sure that they’re continuing with their own personal brand marketing.

Even if they think that they have a secure job, I don’t think we should ever stop participating in those online forums. As you mentioned, showing our professionalism, doing our networking, and so forth, even to the extent of being open to freelance or gig work. What are your thoughts about having personal or professional resilience in times of uncertainty here?

Proactiveness is always your friend. At this time, did any of the people from Microsoft think they were losing their job before the layoff notice came out? Organizations don’t go around and say, “We might be thinking about something three months from now that we’re going to lay you off.” It’s not something that’s known until it’s announced typically. Planning and being prepared is always a great thing to do. You prepare not today. You prepare months in advance, years in advance, and frankly, you prepare throughout your entire career to form relationships, build relationships, and network. Doing that is something we all should be doing every single day of life.

PSF 57 | Better Me

Better Me: You need to prepare months and years in advance for your entire career. You must be forming relationships and building a network every single day of your life.


The other thing I’d like to mention is the power of understanding our people, having conversations, and so forth. Often here at the show, we talk about the TMA method, which is an assessment that makes you more aware of your people and their desires. How important is it for leadership, in your perspective, to understand their workforce? How deep should they go into that work-life balance or that harmonization you were talking about of understanding our people and where they’re at on a regular basis?

I don’t believe it’s feasible for a CEO in a larger organization to know every employee and everything that they want, wish, and desire in life, but it is possible for every manager to know their team. It’s not only possible, but it’s an absolute must in this world. People will not follow a leader unless they know how much that leader cares. A leader can’t care if they don’t know their people. When you are a C-Suite executive, you need to know two layers beneath you intimately well.

It may not be feasible depending on how large your team is that you can know everybody. When you say harmonization and understanding, it comes down to a couple of things. If you are truly a servant leader, you want to know your people. If you want to build your people, you have to know how to help them. If you are not in a leadership capacity, and this is where I get myself in a little bit of trouble with a whole lot of people when I say this, but it’s true, is if you are not in leadership to build up other leaders, you’re in the wrong field.

If you are a leader who doesn’t have any interest in developing their team, you don’t belong in leadership. If you have that desire, you’re going to know your people. It’s so important that you know what motivates each person. It’s important that you feed into that. Frankly, we know from the studies that the number one reason people leave a job is their immediate supervisor.

If you are a leader who doesn’t have any interest in developing their team, you don’t belong in leadership. Share on X

Know your people, and then talk to your manager about your people, and keep that escalating up the organization. That way, everybody knows everybody and knows how to best make decisions. I can’t decide what needs to happen. If I’m sitting in a C-Suite, I’m not in touch with Bob in another department. I may not have any idea what his goals and dreams are, but I can’t make decisions knowing that if I don’t have that information. It’s super important that information gets cascaded up and cascaded down.

It’s also important to bring in people with different skillsets and even stronger skillsets than yourself. The collective strength of that body is amazing. You can move mountains when it works together.

My goal and objective in my career were always to be the dumbest person in the room because if I was, that meant I was always learning something. If any of your audience are readers, which I believe all leaders should be readers, I’m putting that out there, but if they’re readers, Team of Rivals is an amazing book of how Lincoln surrounded himself with all people who had very vastly different ideas and had strengths that he did not have. How you build a great team is by surrounding yourself with people who are better than you are at things that you’re not good at.

You mentioned earlier that you went from coaching, from what I understood, in a larger corporate setting, chief HR officer, more of an HR executive. I have a similar background. Also, then you transitioned into supporting smaller businesses and becoming that. I’m a microcosm. I had nearly 30 employees in my new company. I applied some of the principles that Sam mentioned with the TMA method to my company. I ask my talent management strategist to redesign a completely different way of getting to know my employees, my leaders particularly, and understanding talents’ drives, competencies, ambitions, and having different types of conversations.

As a former HR practitioner and former SHRM trained but more of a formal way of thinking about HR performance management, learning, and development, and transitioning into more of a new and progressive way, moving into 2023 as far as how you understand your employees on a deeper, more cognitive level, a better understanding of how their leadership is, what drives them, what motivates them, and how to motivate your employees, it wasn’t until I truly became a business owner and had full accountability for my people’s strategy to embrace what that means.

In my former life as an HR person, I didn’t understand that until I truly became a true business owner. I wore the hat of the CFO and the COO, and I gave myself many titles. That was the fun part of owning my own business. What is your thought about the true experience and running your own business as your own entrepreneur? What do you think the difference is more of a corporate setting where you’re a department that’s accountable for that function? Do you think there’s a very different perspective or mindset in those differences, Tina?

It does. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I just sold off one of my companies. I 100% know exactly what you’re talking about. It is different when it’s you. It’s also different if you are a chief executive officer because you are also accountable for all the departments. Being in a silo, the best analogy I have for you is something that happened to me early on in my career. It was the first C-Suite position that I held.

It was several years ago or so. I was walking into my ex-chief executive’s office, and I wanted something. I needed something. I knew I needed it. I wanted it. I made the pitch, the business plan, and the business case. I presented all the information. I gave him the whole document and everything, knowing full well that this was the right thing to do. He got up from his desk and said to me, “Come sit in my chair.” I was like, “I’ll come sit in your chair,” and not having any idea what he was going to do for me. He did something massively for me at that moment.

He had me read through the different five files. There were five files on his desk, the different five proposals that he had gotten that day from the five different divisions that reported to him that all needed something that was equally as expensive and impactful and that he needed to make a decision on. He asked me to make the decision. It changed my life because I was like, “I’m looking at this through a very narrow lens.” From that point forward, I looked at it as an overarching view, but it is so important that we don’t look in our silos.

It is very different when it’s your own. I will be honest with you, the entrepreneurial space has blown up. Most entrepreneurs that I’m meeting are not business experienced. A lot of them have not led big teams. A lot of them have not led a team at all. A lot of them have never run a business of any kind or even know the financial background or any of the other pieces that you need, and certainly, not the people management side of it. It is radically different to get to know your team when you are confident in who you are as a leader than it is to get to know your team when you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to people management.

There is a very different view as a business owner than there is even as an executive. I believe that those are two different worlds. If you are an entrepreneur reading this, first and foremost, it takes a lot to be an entrepreneur or solopreneur. Huge kudos to you for taking a step into that arena. Secondly, the best way to get to know your people are by working beside them. As entrepreneurs, most of us do that. You’re working alongside that person, having conversations, and getting to know them.

PSF 57 | Better Me

Better Me: The best way to know your people is by working beside them. There are no laws forbidding entrepreneurs from talking with their team.


There is no taboo. You’re not going to be in trouble. There are no laws that you’re breaking by talking to your people. Know your team. Frankly, especially if you’re a growing small organization, in knowing your team, you’re building what will end up becoming your next-level leadership as you grow your business. Don’t be afraid of it. Lean into it and be you, and you will do great at it.

The next thing we were talking about was development. We were talking about leaders upping their skills, and even that a-ha moment that you had years ago. As leaders are framing 2023, and they’re looking at their own personal development, how should they go about this?

The first thing I would ask you to do is to vision out what you are trying to accomplish. We tend to go off and say, “I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to do this. I’m going to read this. I’m going to get this certification. I’m going to do all these things.” There’s no real strategy to it. There’s no real vision to it. What is it you’re trying to accomplish? Are you trying to become a C-Suite executive? Are you trying to start your own business? Are you trying to jump to a billion-dollar organization from a $500,000-a-year organization? What are you trying to do? Know that vision and know it very clearly.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never ever going to get there. Start with your vision, and that takes some time and reflection. It’s not doing a vision. It’s creating a vision. You have to reflect on that. The next thing that you have to do, Sam, is to take a moment and assess your values. Values are key. If you don’t know what you value, you can’t make decisions. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time on our values.

Do we know what our organizational values are? Sure we do because they’re on a wall. We tell them to our new hires. We talk about them in presentations. We know all of that. What are your own personal values, and what’s important to you? That will help you make decisions on how to develop yourself this coming year. The third piece is making sure that you have solid goals. Most of us know how to do SMART goals, but we miss the mark with SMART goals. We’re missing a couple of things. If you do not have the energy, enthusiasm, and a big why behind that goal, you’re not going to do it.

In organizations, they tend to have whys tied to them, but in our personal goals, we don’t do that very often. Make sure that you do that. Have your vision, know your values, and have your goals. Once you have them, make sure you have a plan to execute it. First of all, I am stunned at how many people do not write their goals down and how many people fail to meet accountability with them or have somebody to help them with it. Please, for the love of all things, do not ask your spouse or your family member to be your accountability partner. That never ends well. Don’t do that. Find somebody else to be your accountability partner, but make sure you have your vision, your values, and your goals, and then a plan to reach them.

I 100% agree, but I also know that, as executives, we oftentimes have a challenge aligning all of our goals and coming to an agreement with them. It can be a challenge because each of us has different priorities.

The other thing is when we think about our goals, they fall into several different categories. We have family goals. We have work goals or even diving into more marketing and so forth. What are the common categories that people should be thinking about to have a good harmonized work-life?

That comes down to your visioning. If you are going for a massive promotion or you’re going to start a brand-new organization this 2023, you’re going to spend more time on your business component than if you are looking to level up to a new position only. There are very different levels of things that we have to look at. Looking at what time commitment and type of commitment you’re making to reach that goal or reach that vision is important.

I would say that you need to look at your family, finances, and career in terms of either starting a new company or growing it and then your health. I’m going to put this out there. Without health, nothing else matters. I lost my health completely. A little spoiler alert, for those of you who haven’t read my book, I couldn’t walk, talk or feed myself. When I lose my health, I could not think of words to put together in a sentence.

When you lose your health, you lose everything else. Please don’t put that on the back burner for another big audacious thing you want to do. Those are the elements to focus on. The other thing is to pick your top five goals for the year. Don’t pick 50. Pick your top five and then break them down into quarterly. I tell people to break it down into the next tiniest step they can take. I shared this with you already, Sam.

When you lose your health, you lose everything else. Never put that on the back burner just to do other big and audacious things. Share on X

I wasn’t at a place where I could do the great big visioning. I had to do little teeny tiny steps, but those teeny tiny steps are what got me back to where I am now. As long as you’re making progress, you are moving towards that goal. We’ve heard this adage, and I’ve said it for decades myself, “Progress, not perfection. Keep it moving forward.” Break those quarterly goals down into things that you can consume very easily and do day in and day out. It doesn’t have to take you ten hours. Five minutes a day will move you forward.

I like what you said there about health. My personal coach that helps me with my career and my business always tells me that, “Health is wealth.” That is his main value, and it is truly important. Sometimes I get myself so leveraged in doing a lot of work and helping a lot of clients that I’m afraid to get sick like, “If I get sick, it’s going to put me behind. I’m not going to meet my deadlines.” First of all, you don’t want to put yourself in that corner, but it does make an awareness of how important health is. As we have gone through this conversation and how leaders should prepare best for this New Year, what are some of the learnings and lessons that you have in your book that will highlight this topic?

Inside my book, I walk through the different steps that I took to get back to where I was. Reminding you, some of your readers won’t know this, but I was functioning like a young child and had to figure out how to get back to me. That’s what I was trying to do. I had to vision where I was going. I talk a lot about the different types of visions, how you can create them, and what was too big for me. I had to change. It was contrary to what I had been teaching in Corporate America for years because it didn’t fit.

I had to adapt it. I talk about visioning, values, goals, accountability and how our thoughts create our results, and how to modify those thoughts to get different results. I talk about the most important piece of all inside of there. I call it your AIM. If you don’t have the right AIM, you’re never going to your target. Your AIM is your Attitude, Inspiration, and Motivation. I got to do some of the most miraculous social studies ever. Don’t do the math. I was the 40-year-old when I was injured, but I was functioning like a young child.

If you don’t have the right aim, you will never hit your target. It is your attitude, inspiration, and motivation. Share on X

When you’re in an adult body functioning like a child, you’re not treated like a child. People assume you to be an adult. I got to experience adult behavior while processing like a young child, which created the most amazing experience and experiments that I could have ever gone through. Would I wish the accident on anyone? Absolutely not. Do I wish everyone to experience that because it helps you reframe and reset your life? Absolutely, I do. Getting to do that and getting to see how adults are complex, which you don’t have to be, was the biggest gift of all.

I talk a lot about it in there, sharing a lot of very specific examples, talking about the Imposter syndrome that comes up, and talking about the ways in which our perceptions impact us. I talk a lot about that inside the book. If you want to move forward with any change in your life, and you’re feeling a little bit stuck, this book will help you move through it. If you’re looking to develop yourself, and you’re not sure how you can do that, the book will help you do that too.

I know you have a free gift for our readers. Can you tell us a little bit about your free gift and what lesson one is in your book?

First of all, I believe that when you show up somewhere, and you’re invited, you should always bring a gift. I couldn’t bring dinner, a dessert or an appetizer, so I’m bringing a gift. It’s a free gift for me, and it’s lesson one from my book. Lesson one is all about visioning. I talk about how to create your vision. I talk about why it’s important. I also talk about what stops you from creating your vision. I’m giving that to you as my free gift so that you can get started on your own development journey for 2023 because I believe it’s time for us to become our Best Me in ’23.

I’m sure your book is available on Amazon. You were mentioning about an audio version. Is that coming out soon?

It is. It will be out on Audible on February 3rd. You can get the Kindle version. If you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s free. If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get the Kindle version or you can get the Paperback version from Amazon.

I’m looking forward to the audio version. I like listening as I’m working out or walking outside, which is a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to that version.

I love reading because I know what it does to your brain. I’ve seen the fMRIs while I’ve been reading and saw what all it did. I love reading. Let’s face it. Sometimes, the next best thing is listening to it on audio.

Tell me a little bit about that. You have a special perspective. You’re talking about the MRIs. What happens when you’re reading? Is it more beneficial than listening?

It is. An fMRI lights up different parts of your brain that you’re currently using. It’s a functional MRI instead of a regular MRI that you would get for your muscles and your ligaments, etc. I’ll tell you another great thing that happens. First of all, the best thing about the fMRI is I can tell you all I have a brain because I got to see my brain. Most of us don’t know what our brain looks like. I got to see it. I have a brain in there. It was amazing. The fMRI highlights and lights up different areas of your brain based on what you’re doing. Reading lights up the majority of your brain.

It is one of the best things you can do for brain health. Another thing, I’m going to give you one more little piece on the fMRI because I found this to be fascinating. When you are afraid, an area of your brain lights up. When you are excited, the exact same area lights up in your brain. Your brain does not know the difference between excitement and fear. It is identical. I saw it myself.

PSF 57 | Better Me

Better Me: When you feel afraid, an area of your brain lights up. When you are excited, the same area lights up. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between excitement and fear.


What I choose to do is anytime that I’m feeling fear, and this helps in this world of uncertainty that we’re in as well, I just look at the word. “I’m excited now. My brain doesn’t know any different, and my physiological response isn’t any different. I changed the word. I own it as excitement. I’m excited now.” Your brain will calm right down, and you’ll move right through whatever you’re working on.

That’s an excellent perspective of framing things in that mindset. As our readers are thinking about questions, and want to get ahold of you to learn more about your programs, how can they do that?

This Linktree link that you have right here gets you right into my world, and you’ll be able to access me through multiple ways with that Linktree link, that QR code.

What do you have planned for 2023?

In 2022, I became a bestselling author, so in 2023, I’m doing a lot of speaking. I’m doing a lot of onstage motivation and helping people beat the biggest challenge that I believe exists, which is becoming unstoppable at becoming what’s possible in your life. I will be speaking to a lot of organizations and associations this 2023. The best part of 2023 that I’m super excited about is I get to become a grandmother this year for the very first time.

I’m going to be grandma this year for a minute too. I took the month of February off because you never know when they’re going to come. I’m going to do that as well. My health is my number one. Getting back into full and complete health is something that I work on every single year. That is one of my focuses. My other is to start another group program. I have two group programs. I’m going to start another group program as well in ’23. I have quite a full year coming up. I’m on a mission by December 15th, 2023 to have inspired one million people to become unstoppable at becoming what’s possible. That’s an easy thing to do because I’m going to make it happen.

That sounds great. When you were saying that, I think of that, “$1 million,” from Despicable Me. “We’re going to impact one million people,” that sounds like it. A much healthier way of thinking about the world. Thank you so much, Tina. You’re such an inspiration, and we’re so fortunate to have you here. Thank you for joining us.

I am honored to be here. If I can ever help any of your readers out, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to have a chat or conversation.

Thank you, everyone, and see you next episode.


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About Tina Brandau

PSF 57 | Better MeTina’s coaching experience and journey provided her the opportunity to share unique views and insights with you.
She has spent decades coaching executives, professionals, and business owners who want more – more success, more fulfillment – helping them reach those goals.
There are many reasons people, and even organizations, turn to coaching for help. Only some people ever meet their goals on their own, and having a roadmap and system to follow with support is the fastest way to get there.
After coaching hundreds of people and helping them on their development journey, Tina found herself on a unique and challenging journey of her own. That journey would teach her as much, if not more, about personal and professional development than all of her education and experience combined.



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